Posted: 01 November 2017

A word from our research team

Professor Adam Winstock, Dr Monica Barratt, Dr Jason Ferris & Dr Larissa Maier

Global Drug Survey GDS2018 KnowYourDrugs

Global Drug Survey (GDS) runs the world’s largest drug survey. GDS comprises a network of international experts in the field of drugs, health, epidemiology and public policy. GDS uses an encrypted, online survey platform to conduct annual anonymous surveys. Over the last 5 years over 450,000 people have taken part. Now in its 7th year, GDS2018 will launch in November in 20 languages, across 35 countries. Partnering with global media and news networks from all over the world and working with harm reduction organisations and the entertainment industry, GDS focuses on the issues that are often ignored by traditional research organisations and government funded centres.

Because we are independent, we are free to explore issues of relevance to people who use drugs, allowing us to achieve our mission of making drug use safer regardless of the legal status of the drug. All our research is approved by university ethics committees and has led to over 50 peer-reviewed publications in the last 6 years.

GDS believes that the work of other research and advocacy groups who address issues such as treatment of drug dependence, access to pharmacotherapies, overdose prevention, blood borne virus, irrational drug policies and human rights violations is crucial, if we want to reduce harm from drug use on a global scale. GDS complements these efforts by understanding drug use behaviours and risks of non-dependent drug users. In addition, we identify new drug trends before they enter the wider population. For us, the challenge is to ensure that people who use drugs are given a voice, because all too often their views are dismissed. Our role is to listen to the thousands of people who share their stories with us and translate their experiences into harm reduction resources.

Taking part in the Global Drug Survey is more important than ever before. The world of drugs has changed dramatically in the last decade with advances in technology opening new avenues for risk and risk reduction.

GDS2018 will investigate recent first-time experiences of drugs like LSD, MDMA and cocaine and look at the circumstances surrounding ‘losing your drug virginity’. We’ll look at drug checking services and assess the potential for not only information on drug composition but accompanying harm reduction advice to influence drug use behaviours. We’ll continue our assessment of darknet drug markets and novel psychoactive drugs and look at how social networks are changing the way we buy drugs. We’ll learn where in the world you can a get a gram of cocaine delivered more quickly than a pizza and what drugs are most likely to be shared with your mates. GDS will define the perfect MDMA pill, figure out whether alcohol health warnings labels are a good thing and, for people who want to quit cannabis, we’ll try and work out the best way to try and stop. As always, the survey is anonymous and confidential and the first time anyone sees the results is when our media partners share them in May 2018.

Global Drug Survey 2018.
#GDS2018 KnowYourDrugs
Experience counts. Please share yours! Global Drug Survey 2018